There are many reasons to be proud of the Mashpee Public Schools. We are a small, student-centered school system that thinks BIG. Our innovative partnerships, programs, and learning experiences, together with a culture that values relationships, set us apart from other districts. We live by a “whatever-it-takes” mindset. This year, we are asking all members of our connected community to go that one degree further and experience achievements that we may have never thought were possible #212TheExtraDegree.

As of today, we have completed 51 days, or 28.3 percent, of school year 2019-2020. On a daily basis we strive to ensure that academic engaged time is maximized for each student and that each student is able to demonstrate growth. In my visits to classrooms, I am impressed with the instructional strategies and learning opportunities provided to all students and designed to improve outcomes. The success and well-being of every student in our district are always at the forefront of our daily work and every decision we make. We need our wonderful students to be present every day in order for our well-planned instruction, standards-based curriculum, and supportive learning environments to positively impact their academic and social/emotional growth. When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating. If your child has been absent five or more days so far this school year, he/she is considered to be chronically absent. We will continue to work closely with each family to improve attendance with the shared goal of every student being present as many days as possible for the remaining 129 days of school year 2019-20. For more information about the impact of student absenteeism on learning, please visit

The Mashpee Public Schools are pleased to be participating in a violence prevention and mental health program being offered through the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General in partnership with Sandy Hook Promise! Through this initiative:

(1) We will receive Start With Hello, an evidence-based prevention program that trains and empowers middle and high school students (grades 6-12) how to recognize social isolation within their classroom/school, reach out and help.

(2) We will receive Say Something, an evidence-based prevention program that trains and empowers middle and high school students (grades 6-12) how to look for and recognize threats—especially on social media—and tell a trusted adult.

(3) We will receive Signs of Suicide, an evidence-based youth suicide prevention program that teaches middle and high school students (grades 6-12) to recognize the symptoms of depression and suicide, and to tell a trusted adult if they observe signs/symptoms in a peer or themselves.

(4) We will identify an Adult Champion (teacher or school staff member) to register a student leadership club, called a “SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Promise Club.”

Congratulations to Mashpee School Committee vice chairman Nicole Bartlett. The board of directors of the Council of the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) School Board Members has selected Ms. Bartlett to serve on the board of the council as the Northeast Region director.

Last week the Mashpee Public Schools provided a panel discussion at the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents joint conference. During our session titled “Creating a Connected Community” we shared the work we have done over the past several years to enhance outreach within our community. This work has included re-engaging and improving our relationship with members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe as well as other unique strategies designed to achieve our goal of Mashpee being a truly “connected community.” Our panelists were Nicole Bartlett, school committee vice chairman; Rodney Collins, Mashpee town manager; Nitana Greendeer, member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe; Mark Lawrence, owner of Polar Cave Ice Cream Parlour and a Falcon Friend; Richard Ragin, one of our Southport Falcons; Consuelo Carroll, the MPS outreach coordinator, and myself. We are very grateful for our panelists and for their contributions to the discussion. We look forward to our continued collaboration with these individuals and to the development of new partnerships with the shared goal of providing the very best education to the children of Mashpee in the very best connected community.

Thank you to the following members of our connected community for volunteering their time last week to help our Mashpee Middle-High School students hone their interview skills in our Mock Interview event: Kim Berner, Marie Blackburn, Katie Brunelle, Shaun Cahill, Jim Carroll, Laurie Colwell, Betsy Cook, Chris Flannagan, Bob Gorgone, Mark Lawrence, Cathie LeBlanc, Jo Matlak, Rich Matlak, Greg McKelvey, Chris Morin, Bill Nay, Jerry Pastner, Jeff Petrucci, Jack Phelan, Mary Lou Palumbo, Rich Ragin, Jamie Regan, Ernie Ruber, Kim Rumberger, Marcia Smith, Sheryl Stone, Dick Weiner, Danielle Whitney, and Marie Younger.

Congratulations to the following MMHS students for being recognized as recipients of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship: Deshawn Adler, Caitlin Boyd, Dillon Cakebread, Aldona Casey, Christopher Cliff, Nicholas Daley, Peyton Dauley, Liam Donovan, Diana Geoffrion, Peter Gonzales, Mary Hachey, Teresa Hachey, Nathan Howard, Emily Kelleher, Kaylee McCarthy, Benjamin Nadzeika, Benjamin Olson, Anna O’Neill, Nicholas Perrone, Dasia Peters, Stephen Robinson-Wahl, Isabelle Scott, Parker Shea, Kelly Skantz, Ross Smith, Kevin Webb, and Eduarda Zanoni.

Last Friday, Quashnet Elementary School held its annual assembly and luncheon to honor veterans as well as those currently serving our country. This meaningful event not only served to educate our students, but also gave our students and staff an opportunity to say “thank you” to the men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom. Thank you to Quashnet School Veterans Day Committee members Ellie Pagano, Alaina Boyd, Kris Hill, Theresa Arsenault, Coleen Blount, Robin Geggatt, Lauren Richards, and Jackie Rastallis for their efforts on this wonderful event. We are also grateful to Mashpee Food Services director Gus Stickley for providing a delicious luncheon and treats for our guests. Finally, we thank Chief Warrant Officer Aaron Van Huysen and Master Sergeant Christopher Santos for officiating the assembly.

This year a very special guest was welcomed to the assembly: veteran Jason and his service dog Dougie. Quashnet School students spent two years raising $14,000 to purchase a service dog for a local veteran. They donated their Right Choice tickets to the project and the tickets were matched by local businesses and individuals for cash. The funds went to Heroes in Transition, who was able to match a local veteran with a trained service dog. Thank you to Ms. Emery for leading this initiative and to Nicole Spencer from Heroes in Transition for supporting us throughout this project. Thank you to Jason for his service, courage and willingness to share his personal story with our students.

This week we celebrated Native American Awareness Week in the Mashpee Public Schools. During each school’s daily morning announcements, a short biography of four prominent leaders of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe—Vernon (Silent Drum) Lopez, Ferdinand and Emma Oakley Mills, Clara Louise (Dancing Pony) Peters Keli’inui, and Chief Earl (Flying Eagle) Mills Sr.—was shared. An assembly was held at each school providing an opportunity for all students to learn more about and enjoy aspects of the rich Wampanoag culture. Our Native American Falcons were encouraged to wear their moccasins and regalia today, the official National Rock Your Mocs Day, a day to celebrate each student’s Native American heritage. Our community’s cultural diversity is another reason why it’s great to be in Mashpee!

Please join us at Mashpee Middle-High School tonight or tomorrow night at 7 o’clock for the Blue Falcon Theater Company’s fall production of “Discovering Amelia,” a play by Trey Clarkson. The cast and crew are excited to share their work with you. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.

We look forward to expanding opportunities to build and nurture a connected community that is filled with strong partnerships and productive relationships designed to improve the educational outcomes for every Mashpee student while also enriching the lives of all involved.

If you haven’t already done so, please download the Mashpee Public Schools app. Search Mashpee Public Schools in the App Store and select the icon that shows a picture of South Cape Beach.

We are grateful for the opportunity we have been given to serve the families of Mashpee. Through our use of a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) framework, every student has access to instruction, curriculum, and an environment that ensures achievement of his/her academic and social/emotional projected growth. Thank you for trusting us with your children.

As Rita Pierson says, every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and who insists that they become the best that they can possibly be. The children of Mashpee are embraced by a Connected Community that is filled with champions—and for that we are very grateful!

Please stop in and visit us at #WeAreMashpee, our outreach site at 11 Greene Street at Mashpee Commons.

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